Characters Appearing: Captain America, Hercules, Iron Man, Jarvis, Quasar, Sersi, She-Hulk, Wasp
Issue(s): Avengers #340
Anyway, this story probably should have remained in the drawer.
The issue opens with what seems like an interesting idea, if i understand it correctly. It's the dedication ceremony for the "World's first Super Hero Medical Research and Treatment Facility".
Wow, a whole hospital dedicated to treating injured super-heroes. I wonder if Night Nurse was working there.
It's not said how this place is funded, and i can't imagine that they tend to super-heroes exclusively, but this is a concept worth exploring. Who does fund it? Is the idea that it's a place you can go where they won't remove your mask or ask questions about how you got a bullet put in you? How do they ensure that they aren't treating super-villains? Or do they only treat heroes with "clearance"? How do they prevent villains from attacking the place? The more i think about it, the less plausible it seems, but i still would have liked to see the idea developed. Instead it's completely pushed aside for the actual plot of the issue. I'm not sure if it's ever brought up again.
Hercules is a little put out about being a "token god" when he sees the Thor statue.
On the outskirts of the ceremony, a woman is seen running down the street and is then hit by a car. When Captain America approaches her, she seems happy to see him, even though he doesn't recognize her, and she asks him to help the children before passing out.
Almost instantaneously, people are muttering that the Avengers never help the little people.
The citizens of the Marvel universe: one minute they are building you hospitals and the next minute they are sniping behind your back.
It eventually comes out that the woman was married to a reclusive weapons manufacturer, and with him she gave birth to quintuplets. Jarvis is recruited to help the Avengers sneak into his facility.
It turns out that the quintuplets are being used as guards in the facility. While Jarvis heads in the front door...
...Captain America and the Wasp sneak in from the side.
Cap and Wasp trigger the mansion's defenses deliberately so that Wasp can pretend to get knocked out and taken prisoner. What's the point of Jarvis, then? To push kids down the laundry chute.
Meanwhile, Captain America finds the remaining traps on the mansion's grounds to be hilariously ill-equipped for him.
Ha ha ha ha! What the hell is going on here?
The story is that the weapons manufacturer was a child in a Nazi death camp that was liberated by Captain America. And since then he's dedicated his life to becoming a warrior like Cap, and raising his children the same way. He's also planted nuclear bombs in various locations to hold the world hostage. In a nutshell, he's nuts. And the Avengers stop him. But in the end, the Wasp worries that the quintuplets will grow up to be as crazy as their dad. I'm equally worried about the people that read this comic as children; it surely melted their minds.
My guess is that Scott Lobdell saw the abandoned David Michelinie plot and saw how ridiculous it was and tried to turn it into a comedy. The story is still played a little too straight for that to work, but any plot involving quintuplet child soldiers getting pushed down laundry chutes and Cap falling into a three foot watery death trap works best if you assume it's meant to be a madcap comedy.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place while Iron Man is having health problems, per "current issues" of his title. That went on for a long while, but the MCP have this between Iron Man #268-269. Thor is also "indisposed" per his recent issues, too. Quasar and Sersi are not seen in this issue, but in the latter half they are said to be with Hercules and She-Hulk, investigating a warehouse owned by the weapons manufacturer and disabling his bombs. So i've listed them as Characters Appearing.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
So this "art" team -- did they win this job in a contest or something?
Posted by: Robert | September 30, 2015 1:59 PM
Yeah, this art is a disaster...
Posted by: Piotr W | September 30, 2015 3:55 PM
Regarding chronology,note that Hercules is also said to be serving "in Thor's stead" during Subterranean Wars.
Posted by: Michael | September 30, 2015 9:33 PM
And of course there was the panel of Cap groping the unconscious woman that was hit by the car. The art on this issue is the worst I have ever seen in a A list comicbook.
Posted by: Sparky Ryan | November 11, 2015 7:35 AM
Paul Abrams also did an issue of The Strangers for Malibu Comics. Just like this, it paled in comparison to Rick Hoberg's work on the title.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | November 11, 2015 12:05 PM
Does no one else find it strange that the statue being dedicated features four charter Avengers and . . . She-Hulk? How did the hospital decide on that one?
Posted by: Erik Beck | December 28, 2015 12:29 PM
Currently doing a re-read of the whole series, and I've finally gotten back to issues I've never read. I quit during Hama and got back into it at The Crossing.
This may be the worst issue I have ever read. Cap even refers to the Wasp (in his thought bubbles) as a "BAD GIRL", apparently as a compliment. Here is the full dialog:
"Hated leaving her on her own, but Janet is a bad girl. She was a founding member of the Avengers while I was still floating around the Artic Circle in a block of ice."
Simply horrible. Was Steve hanging around Rage too much?
Posted by: Urban Commando | April 29, 2017 4:16 AM
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